13-14 November 2019
Campus Bahrenfeld/DESY
Europe/Berlin timezone
++++ If the course is fully booked, please send an e-mail to graduateschool@pier-hamburg.de to be put on the waiting list ++++

Workshop outline

Science is mostly generation of high quality data and ideas. However, presentation of data and ideas is arguably of similar importance: after generation of data and ideas, you want to convince the reviewers, be it in the form of papers or grants. The amim of this training is to provide Ph.D. students with an opportunity to build their understanding, skills and confidence in writing good papers and grants. This will enhance their overall effectiveness as they pursue their research studies and maximize success of their future careers.


Participants will experience interactive lectures, moderated group discussions and perform activities in order to learn from first-hand experience. We will safely move them outside of their “comfort zone” to the “learning zone” (Gerald Hüther) to enhance acquisition of novel skills. In addition, we will apply the “invoked insufficiency” to nenhance learning. The shortcoming experienced by participants will be resolved in carefully moderated and focused review sessions, using peer-to-peer feedback as powerful tool. The aims of this flexible format will be achieved through:

  • Trainers who work as active scientists and group leaders in chemistry and biochemistry
  • Since 1998, Dr. Schiller and Dr. Mertens publish regularly in the best journals possible in leukemia and chemistry: Nature, Nature Genetics, Leukemia, Chemistry – An European Journal, Angewandte Chemie, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Chemical Science, etc. (www.schiller-chemistry.de, www.mertens-lab.de)
  • A safe, yet challenging course environment that will encourage participants to reflect the key elements of effective communication. Ground rules and feedback rules will be established by the participants to ensure course ownership and a respectful attitude.
  • A balanced and structured program of plenaries, challenging activities and review sessions that will provide a variety of learning situations allowing participants to identify and take away relevant lessons
  • Hands-on optimization of presentation of participants after establishment of common fundamental rules for effective communication
  • A range of group situations where participants will be encouraged to share feedback with their peers on their overall effectiveness
  • A learning handout which will be offered to aid the training process of participants
  • Encouragement to create an ongoing level of support from their learning groups that will enable continuing networking, coaching and further group interactions

A) How to write a scientific text (manuscript for publication)
a. Focusing on your central message
b. Identifying a good title
c. Writing a focused abstract / summary
d. How to draft an outline
e. Writing an introduction and conclusion
f. Writing the results
g. The discussion section
h. Emphasizing main messages

B) Examples How to / How not to
i. Good and bad practice manuscripts
j. improving a sentence, paragraph and text

Here we will focus on backgrounds and theory of clear communication in science. The concept of the “Four Laws of Presentation” will be introduced:
1. Adapt to the audience!
2. Maximize signal-to-noise ratio!
3. Use effective redundancy on multiple channels!
4. Tell a story!

At the end of the course, the participants will dispose of a personal toolbox that will allow them tocommun icate efficiently as scientists (writing a good paper or PhD thesis), a skill that is key to success!

Schiller & Mertens